Friday, December 17, 2010

The spoken word

I'm beside myself, simple elated. I had no idea when this incredible transformation would occur, but it did......a year later.

We had a shy little Hispanic boy come to us last year who was clearly, lost in translation. He knew no English and spoke very little Spanish. With his gentle disposition he attracted the other children and didn't have any problem playing and interacting.  His problem and what qualified him for our program was his speech and language delays. The entire first year I hardly ever heard his voice. If he spoke it was in a quite whisper with his head hung down. When I say spoke I'm talking about a word here and a word there, never a complete sentence.

A year later and older our quite little boy has emerged into a happy, confident, energetic preschooler.

I sat next to him during circle. Part of our circle time activities include singing and dancing and on this particular day, I could hear him singing the words of a song. Never had I ever heard his voice so clear, I was simply astonished. It didn't stop with one song, he kept it up with each song we sang.  The adults in the room all exchanged glances as we heard his little voice sing out, each with a baffled look on our face.

After the song and dance, well a few songs and some dancing later, we gathered around the snack table. Our Hispanic friend sang the snack poem and participated with the hand gestures. Granted we've been singing these songs for a year but I'm overjoyed that they have finally sunk in and he's understanding the words.

Oranges were part of the menu and this little guy loved the oranges. I took the opportunity to teach him the word 'orange' since he kept pointing at them and wanting more. Then I tried, once again, to speak his native language. Orange in Spanish is la naranja. Yeah, I felt like I had a ball of cotton in my mouth, la na raun ha. Something of that nature.

Me asking the boy: You want more orange?

Child nods his head yes.

 Handing him the fruit I said: Orange, la na rah ah.

Speech Therapist correcting my mutilation of the word: It's la naranja

I turn and look at the little guy and repeat: Orange, la naun rah.

Child smiling shaking his head no at my lame attempt.

Speech Therapist exaggerating the inflection of the word: la na raun ha.

After many tries I finally get it right and proudly say to our Spanish student: la naranja!

Again he smiles flashing his cute dimples, and shakes his head no.

 Insulted: "What? You're a hard one to please," I tell my young friend.

Not wanting to disappoint. Again I try: La naranja.

Child shakes his head no.

Baffled I said it in English: Orange?

Child smiles even bigger and shakes his head yes and repeats: Orange!

I finally got it, he wanted me to say it in English.

After picking my jaw up off the table, I handed him another orange.


  1. Aww- darling!!! :)

    By the way - your other blog won't let me leave a comment, but wanted to tell you that your last post about Followers was amazing... so needed to hear that today!

  2.'s the deal. I went first to check your site Archie and Me. (cute dog) but couldn't find anywhere to leave a comment???? I added myself to the follower button.....where was the comment spot??

    This was a good post, but I especially loved the one about FOLLOWERS....and how we need to follow Christ. What a beautiful metaphor this was. Made such perfect sense. Of course he wants a much deeper sense then we as bloggers do. Loved it!

    When I joined your follower button...I saw a few people there who I blog with. Perhaps this is how you found me.

    Also I clicked on your See complete profile thing....and there was no info. I WANT TO KNOW ABOUT YOU. Where do you live, what do you do. So leave another comments on my blog......or email me want to be your follower.

    I started my blog a little over 3 years ago. At the persuasion of my DIL. I had no clue where I'd go with it. It has just kind of "evloved". It is something I enjoy.

    and of course, since I live in the country, I don't see many people so it is rather a bit like a life line for me.

    whoops, I am rambling............

  3. I was at Blog o Cheese and I saw that ADORABLE little puppy and I just had to come and say hi!

    What a beautiful story. Made my day.

  4. I am posting here too because your 'follow' post was really good. But we can't comment anymore?? Also love the orange story. I haven't read posts on this blog before.

  5. I wanted to say "perfectly written" on your "followers" post too!

    This little story was so sweet too. So glad you guys loved him and taught him and BELIEVED in him! :)

  6. Agreed with all here. Your post on followers was excellent--great insight there with Christ and our need to be more than a silent follower. And your dog is sweet! And your Spanish--well...

  7. Hi there! I popped over from Tonya's blog. Thanks for sharing these stories about the children you love to teach - I've enjoyed reading them and being reminded of how precious our children are.